The grants will be distributed to 288 schools and add up to over $7 million. Education Secretary Noe Ortega said the grants will help ensure students have access to fresh produce that they may not be introduced to otherwise while also supporting their physical and academic growth.
Funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.” This program was implemented in Pennsylvania in 2004. Schools with the highest rate of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals receive funding priority.
Four districts in our area will receive funding from the program:
|Conemaugh Valley School District||Conemaugh Valley Elementary School ($27,690)|
|Ferndale Area School District||Ferndale Elementary School ($20,995)|
|Greater Johnstown School District||Greater Johnstown Elementary/Middle Schools ($112,970)|
|Saint Marys Area School District||Bennetts Valley, Fox Township Elementary Schools|
State Representative Frank Burns (D-Cambria) said this program is vital in providing students with better food choices and leading them toward a healthier lifestyle as they head into adulthood.
“Studies show that students with healthier diets are better able to concentrate and retain information and that they perform better academically, particularly in subjects like math and reading,” Burns said.
A full list of recipients from across the state can be found on the Department of Education’s website.
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